AFC Championship Game, Ravens Vs. Patriots: New England's O-Line Must Step Up

Tom Brady torched the Denver Broncos last week for 363 yards and six touchdowns passing. A big reason for his success was how well his offensive line protected him from pass-rushing mavens like Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. The New England Patriots will face a much steeper challenge against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, however, a team that ranked third in the league with 48 sacks during the regular season.

Still, Brady had plenty of praise for the job his o-line did last weekend.

"I thought those guys played well, really as they have had all year," quarterback Tom Brady said during his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI on Monday. "The offensive line has been our biggest strength on offense. It went that way in the regular season and continues to be that way in the playoffs."

Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down made note of the dominance of defense in this year's playoffs, despite the increasing preponderance of pass-happy teams throughout the league. Patriots blog Pats Pulpit says that New England is a much better team than the last time they played, and lost, to Baltimore in the playoffs.

For updates and analysis on these teams leading up to the 2012 AFC Championship, visit Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.

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